earthhourLast night, Saturday March 23rd, 2013 was Earth Hour, from 20:30-21:30 EDT.
Starting about 10 minutes earlier, we went around shutting off non-essential power, including all lights inside.

We headed out into the darkness outside to do some astronomical observing through the “sucker holes” in the cloud cover. Only about 30-40 minutes into Earth Hour and it clouded up completely.

The next step is to wait for Hydro One’s power usage website to have the data available from last night to see what we actually did hour by hour. Earth hour is offset by 30 minutes from Hydro One’s data, so the impact will not be as dramatic as it would otherwise.

The results are in: we dropped by 320 watt hours or 1/3 kwh for the time, saving approx $0.02 in electricity use (not counting the other $0.02 in transport and loss and debt costs).
The problem is, we can turn off small lights and appliances here and there, but if the freezer or fridge or portable heater kicks in, they obilterate any small savings you may have had otherwise.
This is similar to the daylight savings issue… move the time to save power in lighting but do not count the computers, air conditioning, etc.etc. Let me repeat again.. Daylight Saving is bogus and has no net benefits to Ontarian or Canadian Society.

Remember.. this is just a start… an awareness campaign to make everyone sit down and think… you know.. we really don’t need that outside light on all night. It would be better on a timer to use it only when we need it.. or even a motion detector.. that is far better. Do you really need 100watt equivalent light sources outside that cause glare and deep shadows? Try much lower light levels and you will be surprised at how well you can see more detail in the darkened areas and also be able to see into previously shadowed areas.